Argentine president slams incoming administration in final address to country

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Tens of thousands of supporters jammed Argentina's most famous square Wednesday night to say goodbye to President Cristina Fernandez, who lauded her government's achievements while blasting the incoming administration in the same withering tones she aimed at opponents throughout her eight years in office.

See Full Article

As blue and white Argentine flags waved and people cheered on a balmy night, Fernandez gave a speech that was both a recap of her years in power and a clear sign that she does not plan to make things easy for President-elect Mauricio Macri, who will be inaugurated Thursday.

Fernandez addressed the crowd on Plaza de Mayo in downtown Buenos Aires amid widespread criticism for her decision not to attend Macri's inauguration.

The two spent much of the last 10 days bickering over where the presidential baton and sash would be handed over. Macri wanted to receive them at the Casa Rosada presidential offices from Fernandez, while she insisted the handover happen in Congress. Many Argentines viewed the argument as a national embarrassment.

Without mentioning him by name, Fernandez framed the tiff as Macri's fault. She also criticized a Wednesday federal court ruling in a case brought by Macri that determined her presidency ended at midnight, saying it would leave Argentina without a president until Macri's swearing-in at midday Thursday.

"I can't talk much because after midnight I'll turn into a pumpkin," she joked.

Fernandez talked about "an agenda from the outside being imposed on the region," apparently referring to the United States and others she sees as enemies of Argentina. During her two terms in power, Fernandez frequently accused other countries of meddling in this South American nation's affairs, though rarely provided details.

For 12 years, Fernandez, and before her, late husband and predecessor, Nestor Kirchner, dominated the political landscape. The couple rewrote the country's social contract, spending heavily on social programs for the poor while passing liberalizing laws, such as legalizing gay marriage in 2010.

They also aligned Argentina with socialist leaders like the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Bolivian President Evo Morales, who attended Fernandez's farewell speech.

"She made me proud to be Argentine for the first time in my life," said onlooker Pablo Vega. "She defended the interests of the country more than anybody."

Macri, who ran on free-market ideas, beat Fernandez's chosen successor by 3 percentage points in a runoff election last month. The close result underscored the deep polarization in Argentina, and Fernandez has made clear she will continue to be heard, albeit from the sidelines of power.

The 62-year-old, who was barred by the constitution from seeking a third consecutive term, leaves office with approval ratings around 40 per cent, and some have speculated she might try to run again in 2019.

However, just as many Argentines love her, many also loathe her, and the fight over the presidential transition brought out the frustration of detractors.

By Wednesday afternoon, her decision not to attend the inauguration had spawned a trending Twitter hashtag: #CFKVerguenzaMundial, or Fernandez's world shame.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Trump jokingly threatens to fire Price if health vote fails

    World News CTV News
    GLEN JEAN, W.Va. -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday jokingly threatened during a speech to thousands of Boy Scouts to fire his health secretary if a crucial vote to repeal "Obamacare" fails. During a speech unlike any most of the crowd had heard at a Scout function before, Trump mixed a traditional message to Scouts of encouragement about loyalty, service to others and never giving up, with mentions of fake news, former President Barack Obama, a replay of how Trump won the election, fake…
  • Cops rescue two atop Philadelphia's Ben Franklin Bridge

    World News Toronto Sun
    PHILADELPHIA — Two people are under arrest after police rescued them from atop Philadelphia’s Ben Franklin Bridge. Police say the men climbed one of the bridge’s 382-foot (116 metres) towers to spray paint it with graffiti when they got stuck around 1 a.m. Source
  • Mexican officials: At least 25 people in truck were Mexican

    World News CTV News
    SAN ANTONIO -- The tractor-trailer was pitch-black inside, crammed with maybe 90 immigrants or more, and already hot when it left the Texas border town of Laredo for the 150-mile trip north to San Antonio. Source
  • Survivor recalls horrific scene inside tractor-trailer in Texas human smuggling case

    World News CBC News
    The tractor-trailer was pitch-black inside, crammed with maybe 90 immigrants or more, and already hot when it left the Texas border town of Laredo for the 240-kilometre trip north to San Antonio. It wasn't long before the passengers, sweating profusely in the rising oven-like heat, started crying and pleading for water. Source
  • Woman 'slapped' squad car before Minnesota policeman Mohamed Noor shot Justine Damond

    World News Toronto Sun
    MINNEAPOLIS — A woman approached the back of a Minneapolis police car and “slapped” it shortly before an Australian woman was shot and killed by an officer, according to a search warrant filed by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Source
  • Convicted serial killer faces nurses' college professional misconduct hearing

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- A convicted serial killing nurse who murdered eight seniors in her care faces a professional college disciplinary hearing today. The College of Nurses of Ontario alleges Elizabeth Wettlaufer committed professional misconduct when she overdosed 14 patients with the intent to harm or kill them. Source
  • Deal reached to save 18 alleged Ontario fighting dogs from death row

    Canada News CBC News
    Eighteen alleged fighting dogs that were facing a potential death sentence in Ontario will be sent to the U.S. for rehabilitation after a months-long negotiation to save their lives. 21 alleged fighting dogs from Chatham could have new owner Source
  • Preparations underway to welcome more B.C. wildfire evacuees home

    Canada News CTV News
    KAMLOOPS, B.C. -- The mayor of Williams Lake, B.C., says the city is ready to welcome thousands of residents home, as soon as fire officials give the okay. About 10,000 residents of the Interior city were forced to leave more than a week ago when flames from several wildfires threatened to cut highway access. Source
  • Israel dismantles metal detectors at Jerusalem holy site

    World News CBC News
    Israel has dismantled metal detectors it installed a week ago at a contested Jerusalem shrine, hoping to defuse a crisis with the Muslim world, including security ally Jordan, the Muslim custodian of the holy site. Source
  • Kushner returns to Capitol Hill for 2nd day of interviews

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner will return to Capitol Hill Tuesday for a second day of private meetings with congressional investigators, this time for a closed-door conversation with lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee. Source